Getting past awkward in portrait photos

I love portrait photography. I like engaging with people, and capturing who they are in a moment.

It is fair to say, though, that I haven’t got the whole ‘photographer patter’ down to a tee quite yet. Whenever I take a portrait, unless the person is unusually self-possessed, there is always that moment of awkwardness. They don’t know what to do (do they look at the camera? Cheesy smile? Awkward face it is, then). I don’t know what to say (do I make a joke? Should I be directing?).

What I’ve found, though, is that eventually there is a moment that breaks the tension, the awkwardness. Sometimes it happens quick, sometimes it takes ages, but it always happens and when it does there is that moment of relief of the subject’s face, that smile and relaxation that is so natural it is hard to capture at any other time.

Now that I’ve realised how good that moment can be, I’m going to chase it. We can be awkward, they can look uncomfortable. What I want to do is to find that thing that breaks the ice, and when it happens, to capture it.

Miss Nyss. #portraitphotography #portrait #skatergirl #s1helmets

A post shared by @ zombiejosh on


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